• Our Approach

    Our Approach

The world moves at the speed of change, and change happens at the speed of trust. The Patterson Foundation believes that philanthropy strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities. Strong communities work together to achieve shared aspirations and can even thrive in the face of adversity.

Rather than having grant cycles or requests for proposals, The Patterson Foundation invests in strengthening communities. Support through the thoughtful use of assets takes time and intention. That is why we focus on helping people engage with each other, providing expertise, encouraging learning, and sharing promising practices.

The Patterson Foundation's staff and consultants would welcome the opportunity to make a presentation about the Foundation and its initiatives at one of your organization's upcoming meetings or events. Please fill out the Speaker Request Form, and we will contact you within two business days of receiving your completed form.

As illustrated below, The Patterson Foundation’s icons symbolize this approach to philanthropy and reflect this collaborative philosophy as we undertake — with joyful stewardship — philanthropic work in ways others are not doing, cannot do, or will not do.

Watch President and CEO Debra Jacobs explain The Patterson Foundation's approach to philanthropy

(total time: 5 minutes 15 seconds)

CATALYSTS FOR GOOD

The Patterson Foundation works with people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media to catalyze efforts toward shared aspirations through five key actions: Connecting → Learning → Sharing → Evolving → Strengthening.

(Download the one-page PDF file of the entire "Catalysts for Good" section. Or, to share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

Connecting
Connecting
Connecting: To learn, share, evolve, and strengthen, we must first be connected. The Patterson Foundation provides opportunities to bring people, organizations, and communities together, strategically linking Internal Stakeholders (CEO/ED, board, staff, donors, and volunteers); External Stakeholders (people, businesses, other nonprofits, government, and the media); and Areas (local, regional, statewide, national, and global communities).
 

Learning test
Learning
Learning: The time spent listening, asking questions, and exploring builds mutual understanding, and mutual understanding fosters the development of trust.
 

Sharing
Sharing
Sharing: The Patterson Foundation believes that important assets — including information, knowledge, skills, and expertise — strengthen the impact of initiatives when they are spread through collaboration. Sharing is the pivotal point linking the power of connecting and learning to opportunities for evolving and strengthening.
 

Evolving
Evolving
Evolving: “Change happens at the speed of trust” is one of The Patterson Foundation's key tenets. As confidence grows, the belief in new possibilities begins to emerge, and meaningful changes are made toward positive transformations.
 

Strengthening TEST
Strengthening
Strengthening: The Patterson Foundation supports the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address mutual aspirations, foster wide participation, and encourage learning and sharing.
 
 

Importance of Alignment

While everything collaborators do requires trust, The Patterson Foundation has learned that the alignment of five characteristics — leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture — is critical to success.

(Download the one-page PDF file of the entire "Importance of Alignment" section. Or, to share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

leadership
Leadership

Value of collaboration is understood
and used to drive impact

willingness
Willingness

Enthusiasm about working together
and with others accelerates change

readiness
Readiness

Available to embrace the journey

capacity
Capacity

Ability to bring assets to the work and
implement strategic recommendations

culture
Culture

Shared belief that strengthening the future
starts with passionaries and possibilitarians

 
 

OPPORTUNITies FOR IMPACT

The Patterson Foundation capitalizes on methods to refocus efforts toward lasting impact.

(Download the PDF file of the entire "Opportunities for Impact" section. Or, to share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

INTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS

Engaging all stakeholders — CEO/ED, board, staff, donors, and volunteers. 
When we understand the "Why," we embrace the "How" and the "What."

Internal Stakeholders CEO ED
Internal Stakeholders Board
Internal Stakeholders Staff
Internal Stakeholders Donors
Internal Stakeholders Volunteers

EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS

Working together with people, businesses, nonprofits, government,
and the media to rethink obstacles and explore solutions

External Stakeholders People
External Stakeholders Businesses
External Stakeholders NonProfits
External Stakeholders Government
External Stakeholders Media

MOVING THE NEEDLE

Finding ways for people to engage and create their desired future.

Scarcity to Abundance.png
Scarcity
Abundance

Expanding a narrow scope of thinking to a broad view of the collective resources from multiple sectors

issues to ispirations correct 01
Issues
Aspirations

Shifting the focus from problems, challenges, and barriers to a shared vision and new possibilities


enabling to engaging correct 02 01
Enabling
Engaging

Rather than taking actions that perpetuate problems, creating opportunities that change realities

silos to systems test
Silos
Systems

Rather than acting in isolation, exploring, discovering, and working together in a shared ecosystem


outputs to outcomes test
Outputs
Outcomes

Rather than focusing on short-term actions, optimizing efforts toward long-term impact

 

THE FIVE C’s

No matter the circumstances, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) enters each day focused on five constants that power its ability to thrive in the face of change while harnessing that change to work in new, impactful ways. This is achieved through five key actions:
Caring → Connecting → Collaborating → Contributing → Creating.

(Download the one-page PDF file of the entire "The Five C's" section. Or, to share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

Caring
Caring
Caring: With its many initiatives — regardless of the aspiration or geography involved — TPF channels empathy and compassion for our world. The unfettered charter undergirding its efforts allows TPF to undertake work in ways others are not doing, cannot do, or will not do. This affords TPF unique opportunities to create meaningful change through its philanthropy, and it’s one for which we are ever grateful. Knowing and embracing what’s possible through our work allows each of us to live and work in the spirit of joyful stewardship.
 

Connecting
Connecting
Connecting: TPF's approach is organized around the principle that, to learn, share, evolve, and strengthen, we must first be connected. TPF provides opportunities to bring people, organizations, and communities together, strategically linking Internal Stakeholders (CEO/executive director, board, staff, donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries); External Stakeholders (people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media); and Areas (local, regional, statewide, national, and global communities).
 

Collaborating
Collaborating
Collaborating: When TPF seeks to strengthen outcomes within shared aspirations, it looks to the organizations and entities at the forefront of the ongoing work in that space. Rather than arrive at its work with the answer, TPF strives to learn from those actively creating the kind of future people aspire to live in, finding opportunities to strengthen their efforts while continuing to introduce them to other mission-aligned causes and organizations.
 

Contributing
Contributing
Contributing: As a fully endowed charitable entity, TPF has substantial resources to help strengthen those with which it collaborates. However, the true value of TPF’s support goes far beyond any one-time check. With an eye toward long-term thrivability and mission impact, TPF exercises agility in its response to emerging funding opportunities while creating opportunities to catalyze additional support from donors big and small to these organizations and networks.
 

Creating
Creating
Creating: Beyond sharing promising innovations within these networks, TPF actively works with them to identify opportunities to innovate organically — from idea to implementation. Developing high-tech platforms and virtual experiences can connect more people, organizations, and communities to proven solutions and approaches that advance shared aspirations in new, exciting ways.
 
 

The Phases of Disaster Recovery

The Patterson Foundation understands that the recovery process following a disaster or unexpected challenge includes three distinct phases:
Cope → Adapt → Innovate.

(Download the one-page PDF file of the entire "Phases of Disaster Recovery" section. To share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

cope
Cope

Following a disaster or unexpected challenge, we first focus on ensuring our safety and addressing the immediate needs essential to survival.

adapt
Adapt

Getting accustomed to the reality of living with the situation, we adopt new systems and methods to create stability.

innovate
Innovate

Using imagination combined with a possibility mindset, we discover fresh ways to live, work, and play.

 

 

STRENGTHENING PEOPLE, ORGANIZATIONS, AND COMMUNITIES

Rather than arriving with the answer, The Patterson Foundation believes that people, organizations and communities are the best architects for their own future. The foundation collaborates with these groups to strengthen efforts toward achieving shared aspirations.

(Download the one-page PDF file of the entire "Strengthening People, Organizations, and Communities" section. To share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

cope
People

Guided by individual values, experiences, and expertise, people engage in the world beyond themselves to create positives.

adapt
Organizations

Organizations are collectives — each with a mission focus to build a vibrant society.

innovate
Communities

Through the collaborative efforts of people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media, we can achieve greater impact toward community thrivability.

 

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